China called on the Taiwan authorities Thursday to show courage in facing reality, and take earnest and positive steps to recognize the "1992 consensus" for the sake of the stability and development of the island.
The call was made by Chinese Vice-Premier Qian Qichen at a forum held at the Great Hall of the People here. The meeting was convened by seven Chinese organizations to commemorate the seventhanniversary of Chinese President Jiang Zemin's eight-point proposal for continued efforts toward the great cause of the reunification of the motherland.
In his speech, Qian said that in the past year there were more exchanges and efforts at cooperation across the Taiwan Straits in such fields as economy, trade and culture, and fresh progress was made in this regard.
"The situation of Taiwan Island has seen changes that merit attention," said the vice-premier. He said, judging from the overall situation, the basic structure and development tendency ofcross-straits relations have not changed.
The fundamental framework of one China is widely considered solid in the world, and the splittist activities waged internationally by the Taiwan authorities have been foiled time and time again, Qian said. "The pursuit of peace, stability and development represents the mainstream of the Taiwan public opinion."
He said, "We will abide by the fundamental principle of 'peaceful reunification, one country and two systems,' fully implement President Jiang Zemin's eight-point proposal concerning the present cross-straits relations and promote the process of thepeaceful reunification of the motherland, take active measures andwork hard to push forward cross-straits relations so as to achievea peaceful reunification," Qian said.
Qian said the consensus reached by Chinese mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) and Taiwan's Straits Exchanges Foundation (SEF) in Hong Kong in 1992 whereby both sides of the Taiwan Straits adhere to the ''One-China" principle show political wisdom in dealing with differences appropriately and breaking the deadlock effectively.
The importance of the '92 consensus lies in the fact that, under the prerequisite of adhering to the One China principle, both sides seek common ground while reserving differences in a flexible way, and, taking the benefits to both sides into consideration, build mutual trust, negotiate matters in a practical manner and always look forward, said Qian.
He said that the hard-won achievement is of great significance for the current cross-straits relations and should be upheld.
"We have the uttermost sincerity and tolerance for making it possible to resume dialogues and negotiations across the Taiwan Straits," said the vice-premier.
The Taiwan authorities' rejection of the One China principle and the '92 consensus plunged the cross-straits relations into a deadlock and made it difficult to stabilize the situation across the Taiwan Straits.
There is only one China in the world, and both the mainland andTaiwan belong to one China, Qian reiterated. The sovereignty and territorial integrity of China must not be separated, which is thecommon ground for both sides to adhere to the One China principle,Qian continued.
Qian urged a resumption of dialogues and negotiations across the Taiwan Straits on the condition that the Taiwan authorities recognize the '92 consensus.
He said that the resumption of dialogues would not only be conducive to the stability and development of cross-straits relations, be in line with the benefits and aspirations of the compatriots living on both sides of the Taiwan Straits, but will also contribute greatly to the peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region.
It is imperative to realize direct mail, shipping and trade services across the Taiwan Straits, as the Chinese mainland and Taiwan are now members of the World Trade Organization (WTO), saidQian. He urged the Taiwan authorities to remove man-made obstaclesrestricting economic cooperation across the straits.
Pledging adherence to the One China principle, Qian said the Chinese mainland wishes to enhance contacts and dialogues with different political parties and people from different walks of life in Taiwan as along as they stand for developing cross-Straitsrelations.
Qian urged the Democratic Progressive Party to think more aboutthe benefits of the Taiwan people and completely forsake the standof the DPP on the ''independence" of Taiwan, and show sincerity for developing cross-Straits relations.
Qian said the broad masses of the DPP members are welcome to visit the Chinese mainland in appropriate capacities, saying he believed that they are quite different from the handful of ''pro-independence" diehards in Taiwan.
The vice-premier also said that more flexible policies would bepracticed in Taiwan than in Hong Kong and Macao within the framework of "one country, two systems" upon reunification of the Chinese mainland and Taiwan.
"After Taiwan and the Chinese mainland are reunited, the existing rights of Taiwan compatriots will be respected and safeguarded, and their aspirations for obtaining other rights willalso be satisfied," emphasized Qian.
Realizing peaceful reunification and practicing the 'one country, two systems' policy can avoid the catastrophe of a war provoked by the pro-independence splittists in Taiwan and ensure lasting peace, he said.
The attempts made internationally by splittist forces in Taiwanin order to create "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan" are doomed to failure, said Qian, who also used the occasion to extendnew year's greetings to the people of Taiwan.
Vice-President Hu Jintao, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, was present at the meeting, which was chaired by Zeng Qinghong, an alternate member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee. Enditem